Science

ADD vs ADHD; What’s The Difference?

By Joana Verdeflor , Jan 20, 2017 02:06 PM EST
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Is your child having difficulty paying attention, experiencing a hard time focusing, has a frequent tendency to shift from one task to another, loves procrastinating, exhibits disorganization, often forgetful, exhibits fidgeting, keeps on talking and moving excessively, shows signs of impatience, likes interrupting, and experiences difficulty in completing tasks? You might want to have your child checked for ADHD.

What Do We Know About ADHD?

ADHD not impulsivity and hyperactivity was previously known as ADD. ADD simply stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. Recent findings have changed the ADD name to include it under the ADHD umbrella. To date, the ADD term is no longer used.

ADHD Symptoms are usually evident at a very early stage in childhood. It may become even noticeable when the child's circumstances change- example when they start going school. Most ADHD cases are identified between 6 and 12 years old.

ADHD symptoms progress with age. Most adults are diagnosed with ADHD condition at a very young age and continuously experience problems. People diagnosed with ADHD may have other concerns such as anxiety and sleep disorders.

"There is a question as to whether those with primarily inattentive symptoms should really be classified as ADHD at all, and if maybe the inattentive type isn't more of a learning disability," Lee Ann Grisolano, Ph.D. said."It's a hot topic right now." Grisolano is a pediatric neuropsychologist in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

If There Is One Thing Worth Noting About ADHD - It Is Often Controversially Overlooked

"Sometimes you see a child who zones out in class because he can't focus," confirmed Judith Joseph, M.D. She is a psychiatrist and clinical instructor at the New York University Child Study Center. "He may also struggle with organization and is known as the child with the messy desk, messy locker, [who] doesn't complete the homework or finish exams. While these kids have organizational and attention issues, they lack hyperactivity and impulsivity, which makes their ADHD go under the radar or undetected. So children with the purely inattentive type of ADHD often go undiagnosed."

According to Dr. Joseph, children who may exhibit hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms have tendencies to be diagnosed early on since their behaviors are not subtle.

The medication remains the same regardless of what type of ADHD your child might have. These medications are most often stimulants inducing positive responses on the majority of children. Behavioral modifications can, however, yield subjective results. These measures can greatly help parents, teachers and the children themselves to manage the symptoms efficiently with the use of a variety of coping strategies. For example, for a child dealing with hyperactivity, he/she might need to divert energy to activities that will allow him/her use to get rid of the excess energy. Parents and teachers can also practice strategies that will help the child sit still when needed.

In total, a child suffering from attention deficit will benefit most from strategies that emphasize on organizational skills. Systems for homework and technological tools (such as a smartphone) may also be employed to help the child manage and maximize his time.

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